Asian Giant Softshell Turtles

I am thrilled to be able to share this good news with the WCS scientists later this week!

Where does it live?:

The Asian giant softshell turtle is a freshwater river turtle. It lives along parts of the Mekong River in Cambodia, as well as in Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Burma, Bangladesh, Southern India, eastern and southern China, parts of Indonesia and the Philippines. 

How does it use its environment to survive?:

How do you think this turtle uses its environment to survive? If you are thinking about its color and the color of the sand, you are correct! This turtle is an expert at camouflaging itself in the sand. In addition, the water of the Mekong River that we've been paddling is brownish in color. Some call it the "golden river" for this color. This golden water color also helps the turtle camouflage while they are swimming.

What can harm this creature or plant? Are we worried about it?:

The main reason this turtle is endangered due to hunting. The purpose of hunting is to sell or eat the turtle and/or their eggs. It is now illegal to hunt or sell the Asian giant softshell turtle in Cambodia, and WCS has hired local people who used to hunt the nests to now protect them. 

WCS has made journals with information about the turtle and how to conserve it. We brought these journals with us on the river to give to people in the villages we visited. By educating local communities in this way, conservation can take a foothold and hopefully the turtle population will begin to rise! 

We are going to visit the Asian giant softshell turtle education center in Kratie.